CAN A SOLUTION BE FOUND USING INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION TECHNOLOGY GADGETS IN HIGHER EDUCATION? A CASE OF A RURAL UNIVERSITY
Walter Sisulu University (WSU) (SOUTH AFRICA)
About this paper:
Conference name: 11th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2019
Location: Palma, Spain
Abstract:This paper examines whether a solution can be found to improve teaching and learning in higher education by using information and communication technology (ICT) gadgets such as smartphones, tablets and laptops in the lecture halls. This follows a widespread adoption of teaching and learning with different ICTs by institutions of higher learning in South Africa. The paper focused on 1st year students and their lecturers looking at how smartphones, tablets and laptops have enabled learning and teaching at a rural university. Teaching and learning become more effective, meaningful and relevant when they are compatible with, matching and addressing global needs. It appears that teaching and learning with ICTs has dominated but is receiving mixed comments from the global village, academics and students. It is argued by different scholars that effective adoption of ICTs in learning environments is fundamental in stimulating, empowering and developing students to be independent and subsequently leads to quality education. The paper adopted a qualitative approach and a case study design. Convenient and purposive sampling techniques were used to select the university and study participants respectively. Interviews and focus group discussions were utilised in data gathering from academics and students respectively. Data were presented and analysed using verbatim and thematic frames. The study found that when ICTs are used responsibly, the quality of education improves, and students do not depend more on lecturers. However, the paper also found that some lecturers and students did not know how to effectively use ICT gadgets to enhance learning. The paper concludes that ICT gadgets have the power to kindle interest in students if properly implemented, monitored and have the skills to use the ICT gadgets. The paper recommends training of both lecturers and students on how to use meaningfully the ICT gadgets for study purposes.
Keywords: Higher Education Institutions, Information and Communication Technology, Quality education, Learning environment. Motivation.